Monthly Archives: March 2016

Water, Water Everywhere? Maybe Not

Not That Much, Really!

I am consistently taken aback by this picture, courtesy of the US Geological Survey, showing all the water in the world. When thinking about the Earth, the common knowledge that water makes up 3/4 of the world’s surface suggests this massive, almost limitless expanse that boggles the mind. And to some extent, that’s true. Stories about sailing, particularly in the nightmarish Southern Ocean, only barely capture the vastness of the medium, which can stretch (or seem to stretch) to eternity. Certainly, one wrong move in the ocean can mean eternity for the hapless adventurer.


However, by abstracting out the entirety of the Earth’s water, we have to be confronted by something sobering – our water resources are incredibly finite. Though they stretch for thousands of miles, and can swallow us puny individuals whole with the savage indifference of nature, the oceans are not actually limitless. Even less so are our freshwater resources, as the graphic indicates. Those tiny spheres are the sum amount available to humanity to live on and with. Thus, when we contemplate our human practices of dumping tons of plastic in the oceans, or contaminating our scanty freshwater supplies by fracking, (to say nothing of oil spills, like the Deepwater Horizon) we should realize the absurdity of the situation. Throwing pollution into our water is hardly a way to make it disappear.

Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

Where Have All the Posts Gone?

So, I have not, despite appearances, abandoned Ye Olde Beste Environmentalle Politics Blogge of All Time™, particularly since it is the Beste Environmentalle Politics Blogge of All Time™. However, I have been doing other writing.

For one, my totally nifty book, which has taken up the bulk of the last year, is now available from MIT Press, so make sure you get your copies now.

Super Nifty!

Second, I’ve been writing things on, such as a recent article on the structural racism of Flint’s water crisis (bad!), and reflections on the college-led divestment campaign (yay!). Nevertheless! I shall return to blogging because… well, how could I not? More anon!